WASHINGTON — The White House said Monday it regretted the loss of life along Israel's border and urged "maximum restraint" among all parties but said the US ally has the right to thwart unauthorized crossings.
"We regret the loss of life and our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of those killed and wounded," spokesman Jay Carney told reporters aboard President Barack Obama's official Air Force One airplane.
"Israel like all countries has the right to prevent unauthorized crossings at its borders. Its neighbors have a responsibility to prevent such activity. We would urge maximum restraint on all sides," said Carney.
His comments came as hundreds of police fanned out across the occupied Golan Heights in search of refugees who crossed over from Syria in some of the bloodiest violence in years along Israel's borders.
In Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinian territories, people gathered to mourn the 14 people killed when Israeli troops opened fire on thousands of protesters who sought to breach its northern borders.
Hundreds were injured in the Golan Heights, as well as in clashes with Israeli troops in the West Bank and northern Gaza Strip as Palestinians marked the anniversary of Israel's founding in 1948, in an event known in Arabic as the "nakba" or "catastrophe."
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